Mobile eye tracking and academic integrity: A proof-of-concept study in the United Arab Emirates

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Accountability in Research


© 2019, © 2019 Informa UK Limited, trading as Taylor & Francis Group. Academic dishonesty has been identified as a significant problem for tertiary educational institutions in the Arab World and beyond. This study aimed to test the efficacy of mobile eye-tracking technology as a means of detecting instances of academic dishonesty during a closed-book exam. Participants were thirty (N = 30) college students attending a university in the United Arab Emirates. Two faculty members were recruited as proctors, and three student participants acted as cheats in the mock examination situation, while wearing mobile eye-tracking devices (eye-tracking glasses). Eye-tracking observations were recorded, replayed and analyzed, with the data and visualizations from each eye movement being captured at 30 millisecond intervals. The findings were independently coded for each instance of suspected academic dishonesty. Inter-rater reliability was established, and the detections were shared with the pseudo-cheats (participating students). The cheating instance detection rate was 100% using two independent observers. Every attempt at cheating, for example, looking at another student’s exam, was successfully detected the observers independently watching the exam footage captured from the eye-tracking glasses. This unique study is, to the best of our knowledge, the first to explore the exploitation of mobile eye-tracking technology in the context of academic integrity promotion.

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Author First name, Last name, Institution

Justin Thomas, Zayed University
Adam Jeffers, Zayed University